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Argentine Latter-day Saints celebrate their new temple, rich culture

Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen
Credit: Jason Swensen

CORDOBA, ARGENTINA

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf challenged on May 16 almost 1,000 Argentine youth — along with their families and friends — to make “the light of the temple the light of your life.”

It was a special weekend here for Latter-day Saints.

On Sunday, May 17, President Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the Cordoba Argentina Temple. It is the second such edifice in this South American nation that is rich in Church history.

While Sunday’s dedication was a quiet and sacred event, Saturday night was defined by festive music, traditional dances and plenty of laughter and fun. An army of young people belonging to the stakes and districts that make up the new temple district staged a cultural event at the Orfeo indoor arena.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson, also attended the celebration, along with the South America South Area Presidency and other General Authorities and local Church leaders.

In his brief remarks prior to the cultural event, President Uchtdorf passed along the love and support of President Thomas S. Monson.

“President Monson loves all the members of the Church — especially the young people,” he said.

President Uchtdorf challenged the young people to write in their journals the many sweet memories and experiences of this dedicatory weekend. “Use this weekend as a new beginning. Use this weekend as the beginning of your own legacy in life.”

The flag of Argentina, he noted, includes the ‘Sol de Mayo,’ or May Sun, which references the country’s revolution for independence.

“But I like the “Sol de Mayo” for a different reason,” he said. “We are presently in May — and we have a light shining here in Cordoba which is the temple. Take this new ‘Sol de Mayo’ to shine in your life. Make this your legacy.”

Live the gospel, he concluded, “and you will not only have the sun in May, but throughout your life.”

The cultural event included a variety of colorful folk dances that told the story of Argentina’s indigenous history, its fight for independence, the legacy of countless immigrants and, lastly, the ongoing emergence of the Church.

The night concluded with the entire cast unrolling a massive mural emblazoned with the image of the Cordoba Argentina Temple.

jswensen@deseretnews.com @JNSwensen

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